When it’s time to seek a promotion

No matter where you are in your career—intern to executive—you can always use a little advice on how to navigate the office.

You’ve mastered your current position and feel you’ve earned the opportunity to climb up the ladder to the next job. Proving yourself a vital employee is only one part of securing a promotion, as savvy bosses know. You’re asking for increased responsibility, and possibly the chance to manage others, and you could be doing so in competition with other people, so you need to prove you’re the person for the job. Here are 7 tips to help you get the position you deserve.

  1. Act like you already have the promotion

    At many companies, managers actually do the job they’re gunning for before they receive the official promotion. The reason is simple: bosses want to make sure you can do the job before they have to commit. With a target in mind, expand your responsibilities, take on additional tasks and learn new skills that will ensure you’ll thrive in your new role. Gradually begin doing the job you’re aiming to land.

  2. Network inside and outside the company

    Research the position you want, and talk to people who have the same job or serve in a similar capacity. Ask professionals inside and outside of your office for advice—you can learn a lot over coffee or lunch. The more information you get, the more equipped you’ll be for your next role. In addition, having well-regarded advocates on your behalf only strengthens your case with your boss.

  3. Start earlier, stay later—and never say no

    Want to get attention from those in charge? Be known as the hardest-working person on the team. The one factor every employee can control is the energy, time and commitment they put into their job. And if your boss asks if you can handle an additional assignment, jump at the opportunity. You don’t want your boss to think you’re already at full capacity—how can you ask for more responsibility if you can barely fulfill what’s currently being asked? Instead, you want to over deliver on expectations of someone in your job.

  4. Be a calming influence in the office

    Leave drama to the actors. When a stressful situation develops—and they always do—be the person to keep their cool, the grounded person other employees seek out during times of high anxiety. Management will see you as a leader and someone to rely on during difficult times.

  5. Set up a casual meeting with your boss to start the conversation

    If you want a promotion, you’re going to have to work at with resilience and determination. It can be a delicate balancing act. You want to come across as inspired, energetic and forward-thinking, and not blindly entitled or confrontational. Many times, it will take more than one conversation with your boss before you see results. In your initial talk, you want to begin discussing your future, what more your boss would like to see out of you in the next few months to work toward your goal.

  6. Prepare your case

    Make sure you have measurable results to support your case—revenue generated, productivity growth, increased office efficiency, etc—and bring ideas on how to expand upon your success. You want to be able to make the point that if given additional opportunity, you can bring even more success to the company.

  7. Rehearse and deliver with confidence

    You asked for this meeting, so you want to enter it as prepared as possible. In addition to research, actually practice what you want to say, and go over possible questions your boss might have for you. Remember, every boss wants a staff that sets them up to succeed as well. Calmly and confidently state how you will help them succeed at an even higher level.

Judy Smith advises Presidents, celebrities, Fortune 500 companies, and was even the real-life inspiration for Scandal’s Olivia Pope. In other words, when it comes to solving problems large and small, she’s the best. She can help you face—and overcome—the toughest challenges in your professional and personal life, so you can unleash your full potential.

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